13 Jun How to Narrow Your Company’s Tech Skills Gap
As the world navigates the new workforce landscape, the demand for talent will only grow. Modern industry has received a drastic jolt in 2020 and, as digital interphases have become a critical need for some business, it’s imperative that companies (across many more industries) act aggressively to close the tech skills gap prevalent in traditional markets. Companies will need new tech support to enable efficient remote work. Waves of innovation spurred from the crisis will demand more tech talent. And demands for technologists to help address the health crisis in real-time are soaring. Tech may be leading the way here, but employers in any industry can work on closing the tech skills gap within their workforce. These three strategies can help you start with your company:
Evaluate your demands
The blend of roles in many companies is changing daily. As automation and robotics alter the complexion of the workforce, the most relevant skills are shifting quickly. In manufacturing alone, 20 million new jobs around the globe could go to robots by 2030, according to Oxford Economics. However, the World Economic Forum expects this mixture of human and machine to lead to 133 million new roles by 2022. Robots may be filling some roles, but they’re also creating new ones that will demand talent with relevant tech skills. This means your company should always be evaluating its technology demands and talent needs — for today and the future. What’s already being automated? What’s likely to be? What new technologies will you be implementing, and what roles are needed to implement them?
Look for upskilling opportunities
Instead of looking outside for new talent to fill in the gaps, take a look at who’s already in your company. You may have people who fit the bill perfectly but just need you to help them develop a few new skills. Amazon announced last year that it would spend $700 million on retraining and upskilling 100,000 employees. That’s an entire third of its U.S. workforce. The retail giant knows that its skill demands are changing rapidly. But rather than hunting to find 100,000 people with the right STEM skill sets, it’s going to equip proven people from within. When you invest in upskilling, you increase the potential of your existing resources instead of sinking your resources into scouring a highly competitive job market. And you help employees advance out of lower-skills jobs and move up in their careers.
Rework your job postings
Despite the changes in tech, many other companies are still stuck in the old way of thinking about experience. A TalentWorks analysis of almost 100,000 jobs found that 61 percent of all full-time, entry-level jobs required three-plus years of experience. And that amount of required experience is rising by 2.8 percent every year. Contrast that with IBM’s Rocket Center, West Virginia, facility. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, almost a third of its employees working in cybersecurity, cloud computing, application development and help desk support don’t have four-year degrees. IBM is hiring for the skills or training people with the right aptitude. Make sure the requirements in your job postings aren’t shutting out excellent potential candidates. Use language that’s inclusive of all tech backgrounds, and don’t make unrealistic demands for five to 10 years of experience. Focus more on providing your existing employees with opportunities for continuous learning and advancement. If you’re not doing this, you’re already behind.
There are tens of thousands of talented people who want to enter tech — they simply haven’t been given the opportunity to do so. This is the biggest reason the skills gap still exists. Once more of these talented individuals have open pathways to learning and more companies value their skills over credentials, that gap will truly begin to close.